Chapter 31: A New Storm
A new record of the cultivation world meant that the name would be left on the history books.
But a new record also frequently represented new storms.
So when Ding Ning returned to Falling Parasol Wine Shop, when he stepped in, Zhangsun Qianxue’s displeased clear voice sounded, “You are certain you want people to find you so quickly?”
Zhangsun Qianxue’s words contained two meanings. One was that you could control your cultivation speed. The other was even if you wanted to have a breakthrough so quickly, you could hide your cultivation after the breakthrough so other people would not detect it.
“It has to be this quick, ” Hearing the double meaning in Zhangsun Qianxue’s words, Ding Ning responded especially briskly. Then he explained to Zhangsun Qianxue who had a frosty expression, “Because I want to bring Xue Wangxu glory.”
Zhangsun Qianxue seemed to accept Zhangsun Qianxue’s saying. Her face gentled but her tone was as cool as usual, “You have too many things to consider.”
“The end result is the goal. Regardless of whether I can achieve my goal, I hope the process is more spectacular and meaningful.” Ding Ning looked at him and said, “People who have less fetters will be more easily hated.”
Like all ordinary old people, Xue Wangxu slept early but he woke up later than most seniors.
Zhang Yi held his noodle bowl in the dim sunrise. He stopped and listened to the heavy but disordered breathing from the room. Thinking of Xue Wangxu’s past ethereal aura, and his grand realm seven, he couldn’t help but grieve and tears almost dripped into his bowl.
He worried greatly that the heavy breathing would suddenly stop and Xue Wangxu would never wake up again.
However, before his first tear fell, Xue Wangxu woke up with a long inhale and welcomed a new day in Changling.
Hearing Xue Wangxu rise, Zhang Yi put down the bowl hurriedly and walked into the courtyard.
Slowly putting on his clothes, Xue Wangxu heard the rushed footsteps outside the door. Zhang Yi’s hurried appearance appeared in his mind. He couldn’t help but lecture, “Why are you running so fast, you fear that I am going to die in my sleep?”
Zhang Yi stumbled and froze several paces away from Xue Wangxu. He said with slight irritation, “It’s almost the new year, and you still say such inauspicious words!”
Before Ding Ning joined White Goat Cave, Zhang Yi had been Xue Wangxu’s favorite student next to Li Daoji. However, Xue Wangxu could not stand Zhang Yi’s pedantic nature and nagging. Xue Wangxu had frowned when he heard Zhang Yi speak so. He was about to scold when his nose suddenly moved as he smelled a familiar scent. He became curious, “Zhang Yi, you are eating noodles.?”
Zhang Yi stilled and looked at the noodle bowl in his hand. He immediately became slightly embarrassed, and said, his head held low, “I heard others say you and Junior Sect Brother eat noodles at the shop by the alley entrance. Today, when I woke up, I prepared hot water for you. When I saw that you had not risen, I got a bowl to taste as I heard that the shop owner says that he will be closed tomorrow for the new year. I forgot that you have not yet eaten but I have already started.”
Xue Wangxu suddenly started to move before he finished dressing. “Push open the door and let me take a look.”
Zhang Yi was immediately puzzled. Did Cave Master like to eat noodles this much? But he, who was extremely respectful of his teacher, did not dare to delay. He darted to the door and pushed to enter.
Xue Wangxu looked towards Zhang Yi’s hands.
When he saw the color of Zhang Yi’s bowl, he pointed at Zhang Yi as he slapped the bed and laughed. He could not breathe in his laughter.
“What is this?” Zhang Yi’s face paled. He thought of how his little sect brother had put Cave Master in his care, but after a night, Cave Master was now mad! How could he explain!
“mei shi ，mei shi 。”
Looking at Zhang Yi who almost charged forward in his nervousness, Xue Wangxu rubbed his sore stomach as he said, “Next time, remember to bring your own bowl when you go to that shop.”
“My own bowl?”
Zhang Yi still felt that Xue Wangxu was strange. What did the taste of the noodles have to do with the bowl? Also, the shop was so close, and the shop owner was so easy-going. Couldn’t he just finish eating and return the bowl?
“Your little sect brother hasn’t woken up?”
Xue Wangxu suppressed his laughter ands aid, “Have him come with me to eat noodles.”
“Alright, I will call him.” Zhang Yi felt that Ding Ning needed to be present to calm the situation. He immediately turned and ran out.
“Why are you running!” Xue Wangxu saw this and shouted, “We are so close, won’t he heard you if you shout?”
Zhang Yi stilled and said awkwardly, “This seems very rude …”
Xue Wangxu was slightly irritated. “What rude! This is an common alley. Where do you think this is. You are so needlessly sentimental, do you need me to shout!”
Zhang Yi winced and shouted, “Little Sect Brother, Cave Master wants you to eat noodles with him!”
The noodle shop owner at the entrance responded immediately, “Two bowls of what kind of noodles? I’ll make the sauce for you!”
“Pig-gut noodles.” Ding Ning’s clear voice sounded.
“Same as him.” Xue Wangxu glanced at Zhang Yi.
Zhang Yi could only shout with a frown ,”Two bowls of pig-gut noodles.”
“How about calling for one more.” Xue Wangxu was satisfied now and looked at Zhang Yi’s noodle bowl. “Take a bowl and eat with us.”
“That is not right.” Zhang Yi seemed to make a decision and gulped down the contents of the bowl. Then he said apologetically, “The grains are bestowed by the heavenly son, and has been reared by the farmers before being ground. It cannot be wasted.”
Xue Wangxu looked at his bulging cheeks and sighed softly, “You only remember these ancient sayings but you do not know that you ignore your elders at your peril. If you know the dishwasher likes to pick his nose occasionally, would you still say this?”
Zhang Yi’s eyes bulged out. His expression was spectacular.
At this time, Ding Ning’s figure appeared in the courtyard behind him.
Zhang Yi turned around. The moment he saw Ding Ning’s face, the bowl in his hand dropped to the ground and shattered into pieces.
Xue Wangxu couldn’t help but shake his head. “Even if you are expressing your anger, do not smash someone else’s bowl.”
Zhang Yi stammered in a trembling voice, “Junior … Junior … Junior Sect …”
Xue Wangxu finally detected something was different. He looked steadily at Ding Ning who was walking close and his eyes widened.
His breathing became disrupted. He coughed and then he spoke as he looked uncertainly at Ding Ning.
ding ning smiled slightly and started to carry a bowl to prepare hot water for washing.
“This really is …”
Xue Wangxu murmured. He did not know what words to use and laughed out loud.
In the suburbs in the east of Changling, there was a remote courtyard. The walls surrounded a large area, but the structure inside was small and refined.
In front of a small house with grey walls and black tile, there was a natural spring, and wild grasses all around.
At this time, the yellowed grass were covered in snow but the spring in the middle was still moving and gave off threads of heat. Many carp were even swimming within.
A cultivator of unknown age sat in the small house and faced this blue spring.
His age could not be judged because his hair and beard had not been cut for many years. His long hair reached the ground, and his beard covered half of his face.
But even if his hair was loose and chaotic like grass, his body still gave off a spirited and heroic air and a presence that felt like spring.
Two men dressed in fine robes were standing on the stairs to the man’s right. one looked to be in his thirties and the others in his fifties. Both had the authoritative but calm presence that only powerful officials would have.
“Brother, we may have been mistaken.”
The thirty-something man whose hair was coiled up with a jade hairpin looked with some distress at the loose-haired cultivator. He said, “The wine shop youth we paid attention to has reached realm three. His breakthrough speed is faster than An Baoshi and Jing Liuli.”
“Not faster than them. I heard that he used pill medicines to go from Energy Refinement third class to first class during the sword trial festival.” The loose-haired cultivator remained motionless as his gaze focused on the blue spring in front of him. He said, “Also, even if he uses all kinds of spirit medicines, he will age prematurely when he reaches realm five. Realm five has no meaning.”
The thirty-something man asked softly, “The family asks if your opinion is the same as before?”
The loose-haired cultivator said without moving, “The same.”
The two finely dressed men did not say more. They left this unique little courtyard and left on a copper carriage.
“He is correct.”
The thirty-something man said in the slightly stuffed carriage, “An Baoshi and Jing Liuli cultivated without using any pill medicines. Strictly speaking, this Ding Ning may not have been faster than them. The medicinal power of the pills will accumulate in his body and affect his senses of vital energy. So it is correct …”
“How is it correct! Fang Xiumu is stupid from practicing the sword, are you as well!”
Yet the fifty-something man’s cold reprimand interrupted the other. “How long was it from the sword trial festival to now? Not yet three months! This boy was realm two second class during the sword trial festival, even if he was realm two first class then, how long did An Baoshi and Jing Liuli use to go from realm two first class to realm three? Other people do not know, but you don’t? If you compre the time from realm two first class to realm three, you will understand! Also, this boy went with Xue Wangxu to Zhushan District. He was tired and constantly on the move, he did not seclude himself to cultivate!”
The thirty-something man was stunned.
“Four months .. An Baoshi and Jing Liuli took eight months from realm two to realm three. Most of their time was spent on the last step.”
After a long moment, he took a deep breath and said in shock, “If so, then Ding Ning is faster.”
“Fang Xiumu’s name should not mean perfect curtain now, but rotten wood. He has become like this after cultivating the sword. I don’t know what he will gain from sitting in front of a spring like that for multiple years. But the family values him the most.” The fifty-something man sneered, “He does not have a good outlook on the boy, but I want to try. Even the empress has noticed this boy due to Xue Wangxu. She wants to see him perform at the Min Mountain Sword Trials. I will add fuel to the fire. If this boy really has extraordinary achievements, the family’s outlook on him will naturally change.”
Translator Ramblings: Poor Zhang Yi … pity there are no food inspectors in the Qin.